Spotted in Staunton, Virginia this afternoon. I believe this to be about a '75, give or take.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
I, along with the rest of the world, saw your incredibly charming Match.com profile this week. And if I may be so bold, it seems to me that we are a perfect match. Oh, I know there's that little bug-a-boo about my not having a six-figure income. But as you can undoubtedly see from my L.L. Bean sweater and jacket and flipped-up polo collar, I nonetheless am I man who appreciates the finer things in life: a lovingly cared-for home, understated European sedans with leather seats, and successful, educated women who can tie their sweaters around their shoulders with je ne sais quoi while juggling a seven-course gourmet meal.
Furthermore, I share your political views, and although I had some early misgivings about your brush with the law, I too know what it's like to find myself on the wrong side of The Man. A few years ago I got a speeding ticket which in spirit I deserved, but the radar reading of which, by letter, was grossly overinflated. As a famous blogger with 62 devoted followers, I feel that the idea was to make me an example. And like your own high-profile transgression, this permanent stain on my reputation is forever immortalized online, on the website of the Augusta County, Virginia clerk of courts. Fortunately, I believe our shared WASP values have enabled us to weather the persecution of the masses, and bounce back bigger, stronger, and dare I say, more beloved by our audience than ever before.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
|Sunset at Goose Rocks Beach, near Kennebunkport.|
|Cape Neddick, or "Nubble" lighthouse, near York.|
I often have a tendency when seeing a new locale for the first time, particularly if my life seems to be in a rut, to play compare-and-contrast, and see my destination through rose-colored "anywhere but here" glasses. But the extended weekend along the coastal northeast, besides being a relaxing interlude with good friends, good food, and good scenery, was also good for the soul. I hate to evoke the highly romanticized and sometimes sinister connotations that come with the over-cooked cliche "stepping back in time," but nearly everywhere I went, I found that the surroundings took me back to my childhood, a "forgotten America" of the 1960s and 1970s that was somehow less commercial, less vulgar, and less overwrought. Frankly, my time in Maine reminded me of nothing so much as the rural Massachusetts landscape depicted in the 1969 film "Alice's Restaurant." Although some of you may be horrified by that image, for me, it was a very soothing association, and one that spoke to my values on many profound levels.
Perhaps nothing completes this idyllic portrait so much as the way I got there...
|Boarding northbound 176 in Charlottesville.|
Naturally, there were lots of familiar landmarks along the way...
|Masonic Temple in Alexandria, VA. My dad was in the Masons in his "organization man" days.|
|"Sold everywhere"...except on Amtrak trains! It's Pepsi-only on the snack bars.|
|Manhattan, seen from the Jersey side.|
|Alongside the Connecticut shore on the old New Haven mainline.|
The first morning in Maine, the tour began in earnest. Sarah was an excellent guide.
|...even if she made me look like a wicked goober by having me shoot away from the lighthouse.|
|Fortunately, the architecture in that direction was similarly photogenic.|
|Looking for interesting shells. I later found a couple of sand dollars, which are supposed to be good luck...but they broke.|
|Sarah with her Cocker Spaniel, Beautiful Baby (when he's really, really good), a.k.a. Peanut (when he's 'orrid).|
|As Longwing would say, cool preps drive cool cars.|
|Wiggly Bridge, near York.|
|On the way to lunch, we stopped at the Barbour store in Kittery, where Sarah encouraged me to buy this barn jacket.|
|My first crack at lobster (and authentic clam chowder), at Newick's in Dover, N.H. It was a bad hair day, but a good lunch.|
|Afterwards, wine tasting in Lee. Sweet Baby Vineyards in neighboring East Kingston followed.|
Sarah is an accomplished equestrienne. Later in the afternoon, she and her friends took a ride at Goose Rocks beach while I went for a leisurely stroll.
|Sarah's friend Angie, tacking up at the barn...|
|...followed by trailering.|
|The fun part.|
|The gulls provided endless amusement, but it was hard to get very close. Should have brought the zoom.|
Saturday, it was off to Freeport, where I got a Boat and Tote on sale...
|Wish I hadn't left my camera in the car. We conscripted a bystander to take this with Sarah's phone. I love her Tretorns!|
|Later, a quick sweep through downtown Portland. At the art museum, I got to see some original Winslow Homers.|
|After an ecumenical Easter sunrise service on the beach near Kennebunkport. This was once a hotel, now converted to condos.|
|This 1963 Chevrolet we spotted on the way to Ogunquit caught my eye, and added to the postwar bonhomie.|
|This specimen too, albeit a little worse for wear, also made me smile.|
|Pretty lady. :)|
|The rocks at Ogunquit.|
|Bunker Hill monument in Boston, on the way to meet 171. All too soon, it was time to say goodbye.|
|Boston, you are in all of our thoughts this week.|
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
Style icon Lilly Pulitzer died this past Sunday at the age of 81, but for a variety of reasons I'm late paying tribute. The main reason is that I simply haven't had much time this week. But it's also worth noting that as a guy, my working knowledge of Lilly's line is fairly limited. Granted, I've certainly done my share of posts on Vera Bradley and Etienne Aigner, designers who by all rights should not be on the average male's radar. But while those brands have achieved a certain cross-cultural saturation as preppy style has fallen in and out of favor as a fad during the last 35 years, Lilly designs tend by and large not to escape their natural habitat. Long story short, they simply haven't loomed very large in my experience.
On some levels, I feel that the pink-and-green stereotype embodied by Lilly can, and has been, overplayed. Whereas my perception of prep aesthetics comes from a largely autmn-inspired "collegiate" model, full of scrunchy white turtlenecks, chunky knits and boots rendered in earth tones, and multitudes of layers, the Lilly ethos evokes a far different image--a summertime vibe of the sort shown in Slim Aarons photographs, of drinking gin and tonics by the pool and convening to select a Republican candidate for whatever election is nearest in the offing.
That being said, it's clear that Lilly has meant a great deal to many of my favorite people, and not without good reason. After all, common mythology credits Jackie Kennedy for putting her on the map. Her individual pieces, when paired up with other, slightly more subdued separates, are lively and fun and give any outfit, when used judiciously, just the right amount of "go-to-hell" appeal. Perhaps most importantly, one gets the sense that Lilly never sold out, as have many of her contemporaries, to what was "hip" or "happening" at a given moment. Her demographic remains now more or less as it was in the beginning, even as a parade of trends have come and gone. While this may have put her catalog in the position of having to weather certain ups and downs, by remaining true to her roots she survived, and indeed, thrived. Lands' End and Vineyard Vines would do well to take a page out of her playbook.
Even in its seeming occasional "preciousness," there has always been something about a Lilly book or catalog that appeals to me. Take Essentially Lilly : A Guide to Colorful Entertaining, which crossed my radar back in 2005 when the popular culture seemed to be enjoying a brief preppy reawakening. Although some of the colors and fabrics depicted in the photos, as stated above, were somewhat foreign to me, the message inherent in the settings and styles were clear. Who knew there were still people in America who flipped their polo collars like it was 1982! The volume certainly played a minor but notable part in starting me back on the road toward an aesthetic I had always admired.
For sheer inspiration, we therefore salute Lilly. I know she will be greatly missed.